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To Communicate or Not Communicate? That Is the Question

Communicate with intention.  It sounds like such a simple concept – or so we might think.  Surely, we all communicate with intention?

Communicating with intention is precisely what the Leadership Great South Coast participants were implored to do by Ailiche Goddard-Clegg during her presentation on ‘Communication and Community Engagement’ at our recent Community Leadership in Action Program Day. Ailiche explained that intentional communication is critical to achieving success with our upcoming community projects, and it is this concept that has prompted self-reflection.

I’d like to think that I communicate with intention – whether it is via email, phone, or in person. However, it doesn’t take too long to recall plenty of occasions when my communication could be described as anything but intentional. In our current world, with the constant enticements of social media to tell your friends ‘what’s on your mind?’ or share your thoughts with the world (but only if it is in 280 characters or less) we realise that intentional communication may be easier said than done. I cringe to think of the Facebook posts I shared in the early days of using the social media platform – from commenting on the excitement of being on holidays, to how great my avocado on toast was on the weekend.  Yes, I wanted to share this information with others, but is this information really worth sharing?

Whilst social media platforms used to communicate with friends and family don’t need or require us to communicate with intention in the way Ailiche describes, it provides a frame of reference for the sort of environment we are currently in – one where we are frequently being encouraged to communicate without intention. Communication for the sake of communication.

How do we ensure that we are communicating with intent? Ailiche reminds us that news needs to be newsworthy. We need to think carefully about what our audience needs to know, and to consider the key elements of who, what, where, when and how? It is these concepts and this advice that will prepare our four project teams to achieve effective communication and likely project success.

Thank you to both our speakers Ailiche Goddard-Clegg and Bernadette Northeast for sharing their knowledge with us at our program day.

Claire Dagley, 2022 LGSC Program Participant



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